WAAF Association - Recent AGM Minutes and relevant matters

Chairman's Report on AGM/Reunion, Coventry, 2015


Secretary’s Report on AGM/Reunion, Cambridge, 2014

50 WAAFs, WRAFs and one serving RAF(F) together with 10-11 Carers attended the above reunion/AGM at The Menzies Hotel, Cambridge, from 25th to 28th April 2014. Many members had a long, tiring journey to get there but they arrived safely looking forward to a happy weekend together. The I.O.W Tours representative, Caroline did an excellent job of organising the weekend for us and we all had a wonderful weekend enjoying one another’s company once again. A quintet of the RAF band from Cranwell came along and played some nice jazzy music for us during our gala dinner and the restaurant was dressed up with colourful balloons & RAF flags carried out by Caroline. Wine was given by the Committee out of funds and toasts were given to The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force on the 75th anniversary of its formation and also, a toast was given to the 100 years anniversary of WWI.

During our stay a visit was made by us all to The American Cemetery (the only one in this country) to commemorate all our American friends who were killed carrying out raids over Germany just like our own RAF aircrew. We all look forward to next year when we hope we will all be able to meet up again, perhaps with more members - fingers crossed.

Brief summary on AGM 2014

Our Patron, Cynthia Fowler & Peter and Gill Nightingale, our Editors were all invited to our Reunion but, unfortunately, were unable to attend, due to previous engagements.

The Chairman announced that letters of congratulation had been sent to two women members of the RAF on their promotion to Air Vice-Marshall. This is what we hoped would happen someday when we blazed the trail back in the forties.

The Vice-Chairman in her report reminded everybody about Remembrance Day this year and asked anyone interested in attending & marching to apply for tickets from her. Any member who can attend will help to boost our usual marcher - Connie - & 2/3 wheelchair members. Perhaps our new WRAF members could help out here!

Many thanks to all members who sent Xmas cards to the Secretary with thanks for our hard work during the past years, also the letters & phone calls to give approval for the new badge. There were only 4 objections. One or two of us also felt the word ‘national’ should be removed and this was agreed.

Next year there will be a few committee vacancies as some of our terms of office will be coming to an end so if anyone would like to stand for the committee - please let us know, ASAP. Many thanks.

The Treasurer gave a good report stating that finances were in good order and many people had very generously sent in donations throughout the year. She had also been very active in gaining 20 new WRAF/RAF- serving members.

Sandie Faloon has now taken over from Iris Sheppard looking after publicity and is continuing to advertise in Air Mail & RAF News in order to gain more members and to spread the word about our Association.

Dorothy Woodford, our Welfare Officer for many years unfortunately has Alzheimer’s disease and is now in a care home. The Committee thank her for all her hard work in helping out our WAAFs for so many years with any problems they may have had. If anyone wishes to visit her, please ring the secretary for her new address. Good luck Dorothy. Iris Sheppard has volunteered to take over her work.

The work of putting chippings at the base of the WAAF Memorial has now been completed and the bill of £750 plus £150 VAT = £900 has now been paid from a legacy left to the WAAF Association. We are still awaiting a plaque for the memorial.

Change to Constitution - Members agreed that, when a member had sent in her application which had been proposed and seconded and then was taken ill with flu, or something like that, and was unable to be present at the AGM her application could still stand and she could be elected as a member of the committee in her absence.

Women’s War Memorial - Whitehall - The Ssecretary followed up a complaint by a member last year that the WAAF had still not got their own memorial in London. A letter had been sent about this to The Prime Minister and the Secretary’s M.P, who had not been very interested in the cause. We may have to fund our own memorial because apparently memorials are never funded by governments. We will write to Boris Johnson who may be able to give us a site in Whitehall and see what happens!!

Stained glass window at Bentley Priory - this window shows a made-up badge coloured green and with the initials WAAF on it. There never was a badge like this on our wartime uniforms and we are taking this up further with the organisers of this fund. We gave a £100 donation to the fund.

Yearly service St. Clements Danes Church - The date has now been moved to the second week in October every year until further notice in view of the fact that our Patron and other Air Force Officers find travelling there easier as the annual London events are then finished. The date this year, therefore, will be the 12th October 2014 at 11 a.m.

Venue Reunion/AGM 2015 - our venue in Essex which had been arranged collapsed because the hotel stopped trading and the hotel’s new owner would not honour our booking. The time being short to arrange a new venue, it was decided at the AGM last week to be The Royal Court Hotel, Coventry as there was hardly any time to find a new location. We have been there two or three times before but they were able to accommodate us at short notice. The committee hopes everyone will agree with this.

Hotel - The Royal Court Hotel, Coventry from 24th to 27th April 2015, Price - £199. Booking through I.O.W. Tours.

The committee thanked Betty Turner for the many Xmas Cards she had designed over the years and announced they would like to offer her an Honorary Fellowship as a thank you from everyone. Betty was very happy about this and thanked us all for the award.
Joan Menniss

New Badges - these are being sent out

[A suggestion was made at the 2013 AGM that, in order for ex-WRAF and RAF serving members to feel more welcome and at home as members of the Association, a new design of badge could be considered with WAAF given a priority space. All WAAF members would be given one free but they could continue to wear their existing badge if desired. The members agreed unanimously.

The revised new logo (see right) for the Association now that younger members are allowed in definitely does not supersede the WAAF badge which is the Senior badge. It has been suggested all members will receive one anyway.]

These new badges are free and will be sent out over next few weeks to paid-up members. If anyone does not want one please let us know - but the badge does not supersede their WAAF one.

Have a lovely Christmas and I hope I will see more of you in Coventry next year.

Notice to All Members

NOTICE is hereby given that at the last AGM in April this year, 2013 a slight change in the wording of our WAAF Association badge was suggested in order to include our Ex-WRAF and "RAF(female)", of which we have many, was unanimously voted for so it would be more welcoming to these two groups of Ladies and make them feel at home with WAAF members.

If you agree to this, or object to this, would you please write to the Secretary as soon as possible and let her know your views. Remember this badge does not supersede the original.

When voting please just state as follows:
1. I object to the WAAF Association badge being changed
Signed name and Association Number
2. I would like the WAAF Association badge changed to include the Ex-WRAF and RAF(f)
Signed name and Association Number

Amendment to the Constitution

The Committee wish to change the Constitution so that when a Member has stated a wish to serve on the Committee, has been Proposed and Seconded and has been taken ill at the last minute with Flu or sickness she should still be allowed to stand in her absence at the AGM.
At present a member is not allowed to stand and we find ourselves at the AGM with an unfilled place.
If there is any objection by any member please write in and let us know.

Report from the WAAFA AGM 2013

Margery Harley was elected Chairman of the Association, Iris Sheppard was re-elected as Publicity Secretary, Sandie [Falloon] was elected as a Committee member.

Dorothy Woodford, our Welfare Officer is unable to carry out her duties for the moment because of a Family crisis. Any member needing help should contact their nearest RAFA branch and they will help.

The Rustington Branch has sadly now closed.

The Treasurer's report/Annual Accounts were accepted unanimously and agreed to retain the Auditors for the next year.

A lady who had worked as a meteorologist and been attached to a WAAF Unit during the war wishes to join the Association to meet up again with WAAFs. The members voted unanimously for her to join as an Associate Member.

Grey and white chippings giving off a blue light and a slight twinkle when the sun shone on them were chosen to go round the base of our memorial to give a neater finish. This work would be paid for from Association funds.

The Isle of Wight Tours donated two lovely iced cakes and we gave a bottle or two of Bubbly to celebrate our 25th Anniversary of the WAAF Association - so sorry you could not all be there to join in.

Increase in subscriptions: Subscriptions for 2013 remain at £8. The members voted unanimously to increase the annual subscriptions to £10 from 1st January 2014.

The Publicity Secretary has had success recruiting new WAAF and WRAF members by advertising in Air Mail. She will soon be advertising in RAF News as well!

Annual Reunion and AGM 2014 (see below)

Remembrance Day: the WAAF are now down to three wheelchairs and one marcher. The members agreed that Vice Chairman Vera should approach members of the WRAF and ask them to join the parade.

New Badges

A suggestion was made that, in order for ex-WRAF and RAF serving members to feel more welcome and at home as members of the Association, a new design of badge could be considered with WAAF given a priority space.

All WAAF members would be given one free but they could continue to wear their existing badge if desired. More about this in the coming year. The members agreed unanimously.

A suggested new logo (see right) for the Association now that younger members are allowed in will definitely not supersede the WAAF badge which is the Senior badge. It has been suggested all members will receive one anyway.

2012 - Report of AGM Held on Saturday, 21st April, 2012 at The Heathlands Hotel, Bournemouth

The Chairman's Address was received by members.

Due to sudden illness The Chairman, Mrs. Joan Varney-Brooks, was unable to be present at the AGM and the meeting was taken by the Vice-Chairman, Miss Eileen Hollidge who gave the Dedication and paid tributes to Ann Peacock, Secretary and Iris Catlin, Treasurer who had recently died. A two minute silence followed.

Minutes of the AGM 2011 were accepted as a true and correct record and there were no matters arising.

A letter had been received from The Association of The Royal Air Force Officers, Bentley Priory, appealing for funds to purchase a stained glass window to put in Bentley Priory in memory of the WAAFs who served in The Filter Room there during WW2 for the wonderful work they had carried out during that dangerous time. This was put to the members and it was decided to give a donation of £200 to this project.

There was, also, a request fora donation towards the work of a Spitfire Society and it was agreed by the members to give £25.

The Vice Chairman asked for a vote on continuing to give a yearly donation of £100 towards the upkeep of The Plymouth Hoe RAF & Allies Memorial warning that our own Memorial would have to be maintained and that our financial situation was very fragile. The Members voted to discontinue this.

The Acting Treasurer reported on our finances. Since the death of Iris Catlin she had been coping with the post, etc and answering letters and, after receiving the books had been able to prepare a balance sheet etc for the meeting. She then went on to say that somebody by the name of Irene Elizabeth Dulley, who died in 2010, had left The WAAF Association a sum of £17,341.80p in her Will. The Members were highly delighted and gave a murmur of appreciation & thanks and a round of applause. An acknowledgement had been sent with our sincerest thanks.

A new Auditor was appointed - Butler & Co of Arlesford, Hampshire. This was approved by the members.

The members voted unanimously to change a few words in The Constitution so that ex-WRAF and currently serving members could be Full Members instead of Associate Members and be allowed to serve on The Committee in future.

The Vice Chairman requested that The Chairman, Mrs. Joan Varney-Brooks who wished to stand for re-election could still stand for re-election in her absence from illness. One member objected to this and said that the rules should stand that the member must be at the AGM in person. Nobody else spoke and so she was not allowed to stand. The Vice Chairman then stood in her place and was duly elected as Chairman. She then continued to take the meeting.

Vera Morgan, previous committee member then stood as Vice Chairman and was duly elected.

Joan Menniss, Committee member stood as Secretary and was duly elected. Marin de Bie, stood as a committee member and was duly elected. Linda Hamill, a WRAF member, stood as Treasurer and was duly elected.

The members reviewed the Constitution and some amendments were agreed to bring it up to date.

It was suggested by a Member that Jane Carrington should be given an Honorary Membership for her idea of a WAAF Memorial and her help in recommending a designer who would do this for us free of charge. A vote was taken which was unanimous in approval for this to be given to Jane with everybody's thanks.

AGM 2013
Venue - Caernavon (Caernarfon), N.Wales
Hotel - Celtic Royal Hotel
Date - 121 – 15th April 2013
Price - £184 per person
Booking - I.O.W Tours - Phone No. 01983 405116
Single Rooms 60

The Chairman announced she had a few tickets to a garden party at Buckingham Palace if anybody was interested.

The Chairman suggested trying to put the name of our eldest WAAF of 111 years old, who had recently died, in a book of remembrance at St. Clements Dane Church in London and suggested a sum of £100 be put by for this cause. The members unanimously agreed to this.

A member mentioned Stratford-on-Avon as being a good place to hold a reunion. This would be investigated in the future.

The Chairman in the absence of the Welfare Officer read out her report.

New date of WAAF Service at St. Clement Danes Church in London would take place this year on 7th October, 2012 instead of the usual date in the first week of September. This would be at 11am as usual. This change has been made to avoid the events which usually took place causing buses and taxis to be diverted from their usual routes making it difficult for members to get to and from the church.

After a few problems at the beginning and end of The Reunion, everybody had a lovely time and really enjoyed themselves with a trip around the New Forest, and to Poole, and bags of gorgeous strawberries & cream at a little farmhouse in Burghley. We talked and laughed the whole time we were in Bournemouth. The WAAF Association Committee hopes to see as many people as possible at the next reunion.
Joan Menniss - Secretary

2011 - Report of the Annual General Meeting on 2nd April 2011 at Scarborough

The Meeting opened at 10am with the Dedication followed by a short address from the Chairman and apologies for absence.

The Minutes of the 2010 AGM were accepted as a true and correct record and there were no matters arising.

The Chairman reported the completion of the Memorial and thanked Sue McCall for all her hard work without any expenses of any kind. The Chairman went on to suggest an award to Sue of Honorary Membership of the WAAF Association and this was agreed unanimously.

The Secretary's report was read out by the Vice Chairman, Eileen Hollidge the Secretary was unable to attend through illness.

The Treasurer then gave her report saying she had been unable to deal with the finances properly until the end of January 2011 because of the December snow holding up all subscriptions and donations in the post - she had had no post for 3 weeks. She was now up to date and presented her balance sheet which the members unanimously accepted. The members also voted unanimously for the adoption of Mr. R.J.Cladd again as Auditor for 2011/2012.

The Assistant Treasurer reported on The Memorial Fund. The whole Bill for the Memorial had now been paid and £4,000 had been paid back to the committee member who had given us an interest-free loan whilst collecting money for the Memorial. There just remained £300.10 to acquire and then the last f1,000 could be paid back to her. This news was received most enthusiastically by the members who agreed to accept this report unanimously. The Assistant Treasurer thanked all the members on behalf of the Committee for their generosity.

First Poppy Wreath for Memorial - A member from Derby Branch announced that her branch members had visited the Arboretum around Remembrance Day time and laid a wreath on behalf of The Association. She was asked to thank her members for doing this for the Association. It was much appreciated.

The Welfare Officer was unable to attend the AGM but sent her report which The Vice Chairman read out.

2010 - Report of the Annual General Meeting on 8th May 2010 at Coventry

The Meeting opened with a short address from The Chairman. The Dedication then took place and apologies for absence were given.

The Minutes of 2009 were read out and were accepted by the Members as a true and correct record. There were no Matters Arising.

The Secretary gave her report and said she had received one or two invitations for Members to go to Wimbledon for the tennis and a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. These were taken up by one or two Members who were present at the Meeting. As they had to be applied for at short notice she would not be able to contact everybody at this time but she would hope to set up a list with details of Members who were interested and, in future, would be able to contact them quite quickly to give everybody a chance to attend these events.

The Treasurer gave her report. It had been a very difficult task setting up the new financial system but this had turned out very satisfactorily. As no Auditor had been appointed at the previous AGM she had found a new one, a Mr Roger Cladd FCA of Trutax, Milton Keynes. The Members unanimously approved Mr. Cladd as their Auditor for the coming year.

The Welfare Officer then gave her report and this full report can be seen in the magazine.

As so many Members had written and phoned in to The Chairman and Committee saying they would like to see a Memorial to WAAF who died and served in World War 2 and Jane Carrington, one of our Members had also contacted The Chairman with an idea for one, it was decided to go ahead without the Members' consent as Jane had friends - a designer and architect (advising on building materials etc) who would give their services free and design this for us. This was too much of a good chance to pass up and The Chairman & Committee, therefore, authorised the work to go ahead on the Memorial and we were all able to see it half-finished at The Arboretum and it was magnificent. The Members approved this wholeheartedly and were very happy about it.

Prior to seeing The Memorial we all attended a pre-arranged service in the chapel with our own Padre and afterwards had a pavior stone commemorating Dorothy Jones The Founder of The WAAF Association, which had been laid in a walkway, blessed by the Padre. We are all most grateful to Dorothy for starting, and making such a success of The Association and we have all agreed to carry on The Association for as long as we possibly can. We think she would have been most pleased about this. Dorothy's son attended the service at the Committee's invitation and was very grateful that this had taken place.

As everything was getting more expensive, printing of magazines etc., The Committee proposed an increase in subscriptions of £2 per year, making a total of £8 per year payable from the 1st January, 2011. The Committee regretted this but it was approved unanimously by the Members.

Life Membership was awarded to 3 Founder Members of The Association and our Standard Bearer. This was unanimously approved by the Members. There was one vacancy for a Committee Member and Joan Menniss was elected to fill this place as The Minute Secretary.

On Saturday night at the Gala Dinner we also celebrated The 21st Anniversary of The WAAF Association with a piece of iced cake and a glass of bubbly. The Venue & Date of the next AGM/Reunion will take place in Scarborough from 1st - 4th April, 2011 at Red Lea Hotel at a cost of £164 per person, half board, for 3 days with an extra night costing £45 per person. This would include one or two trips out to Camp Eden and Elvington. This would be organised by Isle of Wight Tours, 3, New Road, Lake, Sandown, Isle of Wight, Tel. No: 01983 405116. Please book direct to this Company.

It was a very relaxed and happy weekend with music for singing & dancing provided on 2 nights and a company of 26 professional singers and entertainers delighting us all with Ivor Novello and Frank Sinatra songs and music on our last night. All in all - a very happy and successful AGM/Reunion.
Joan Menniss - Minute Secretary